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Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:30 AM

Life after Elsevier: making open access to scientific knowledge a reality

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/apr/24/life-elsevier-open-access-scientific-knowledge

Academic publishing is in the midst of an upheaval. The internet has transformed the ability to disseminate knowledge, a capacity once exclusive to publishers. Despite this, the exorbitant profit margins of academic publishers who often do not pay their authors, editors and reviewers continue to grow unchecked while library budgets shrink as a percentage of university spending.

This is a problem.

I became involved, along with thousands of other researchers, in solving this problem upon reading a blogpost by Cambridge mathematician Tim Gowers. Dr Gowers had already chosen, unannounced, to refrain from publishing in Elsevier's journals. His post, "Elsevier - my part in its downfall," simply made this decision public and asked for others to follow suit. In fact, he suggested, perhaps everyone could add their name to a website dedicated to this cause.

I was already a fan of Gowers's innovative ideas about research. I had lost a month of productivity in early 2009 following the polymath1 project a large-scale, collaborative and open project to discover a new type of proof of a well-known theorem. The project was an entirely new creature to the research world, something that pointed to new ways to unlock knowledge.

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Reply Life after Elsevier: making open access to scientific knowledge a reality (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2012 OP
Tansy_Gold Apr 2012 #1
mysuzuki2 Apr 2012 #2
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2012 #3
xchrom Apr 2012 #5
Dead_Parrot Apr 2012 #4

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 08:40 AM

1. And you know how rarely I do what I did to this post

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 11:33 AM

2. As far as I know, none of the academic journals pay the authors

or the peer reviewers. In fact, some journals require payment from the authors.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:37 PM

3. Notice the related "Harvard University says it can't afford journal publishers' prices"

Exasperated by rising subscription costs charged by academic publishers, Harvard University has encouraged its faculty members to make their research freely available through open access journals and to resign from publications that keep articles behind paywalls.

A memo from Harvard Library to the university's 2,100 teaching and research staff called for action after warning it could no longer afford the price hikes imposed by many large journal publishers, which bill the library around $3.5m a year.

The extraordinary move thrusts one of the world's wealthiest and most prestigious institutions into the centre of an increasingly fraught debate over access to the results of academic research, much of which is funded by the taxpayer.
...
The memo from Harvard's faculty advisory council said major publishers had created an "untenable situation" at the university by making scholarly interaction "fiscally unsustainable" and "academically restrictive", while drawing profits of 35% or more. Prices for online access to articles from two major publishers have increased 145% over the past six years, with some journals costing as much as $40,000, the memo said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/apr/24/harvard-university-journal-publishers-prices


If Harvard can't afford the subscriptions, imagine what problems other universities have.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 07:05 PM

5. My own thought is this: harvard's complaint

About costs comes after a lack of transparency re: who funded XYZ studies.

Academic institutions don't want to be discredited in ANY sort of way.

I.e. Climate Gate is the notable culprit in this scenario.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:50 PM

4. Elsevier is an anagram of 'ere's evil

Just sayin'

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